Distance Learning or studying from home was frowned upon until a few years ago but thanks to the advancement in technology, that stigma has started to fade away and online education become a larger part of the academic curriculum.
According to recent research, the retention rate of E-learning is between 25% and 60%. The more astonishing part about this is the fact that the traditional way of education has a retention rate of only 8% and 10%. This is a drastic difference if we look at it. A reason behind this spike in retention is the freedom to learn in our own leisure. Students can revisit content whenever they want, retake quizzes when they like and learn wherever and whenever they want. Online coaching and Online courses are in surge now. Therefore, if you are planning to apply for an online degree or course, here are its advantages and disadvantages to help you make your decision.
Advantages of Online Courses and Degrees
Online learning is the most convenient form of education. It takes away all the hassle of putting an alarm, waking up early, catching a bus and maybe attending a lecture mile away. For online classes all you need to do is log in and start learning. The professors might be sitting miles away, but you can gain knowledge by interacting with him via Computer and other channels.
There are times, when the professors lose their train of thought and start diverting from the topic in hand. With E-Learning, you can choose to skip parts within the online classes easily and listen to parts of lecture you specifically need. Another great advantage of this flexibility is the fact that, people with social anxiety can write their queries down and send it to the professor, this would take away the stress that they might feel from being put on spot.
There are many education enthusiasts who do not have the privilege and means to afford higher education. In such a case, E-Learning makes it possible for them to acquire the skills and knowledge they require. There are a varied number of online platforms that have made education extremely accessible for everyone. Students of all age groups, can all come together and learn, eliminating the geographical barriers. Another big advantage of online courses is that it aids disabled people study from the comfort of their homes. All that is needed is an internet connection and the will to learn.
From a technical aspect, online courses are not that cheap. Although you do save money regarding travel, house rent etc. As for the expensive online classes, one can easily cover these costs with a part time job. Finding the right time for work is easier owing to the flexibility of the online classes.
- Faster to complete
Traditional programs have a framework that they follow, one must go through all the topics from basic to advance as a compulsory part of the course. In online courses, all the traditional topics are removed and only the topics specifically required for the course are learnt by the students.
Disadvantages of Online Courses and Degrees
- Less Options
Internet is very dynamic. It is evolving continuously overtime. At the same time, E-learning is a new field. Familiarity of the concept would be less and not everyone would know how to create an online course. This creates a lot of doubt among educators while sharing their knowledge online. At the same time, within India acceptability for online degrees is yet to up, therefore, its validity is questioned by employers. They will be impressed if you offer an online degree along with a college degree but only an online degree is not very impressive for them. This is what discourages students to some extent. Likewise, occasionally, it is very hard to find a course that completely matches the required curriculum.
- No Social Interaction
In an online course, most of the interaction takes place through e-mails, chat rooms or discussion groups. There is no offline interaction. When someone pursues an online course, there is no atmosphere or environment where there is a possibility to socialize. Similarly, since the courses are self-paced, it is harder to develop friendships with classmates.
When it comes to Online Education, learning is completely dependent on the student. The student needs to be disciplined, determined and focused. If he/she is not planned, then there is no one to hold you accountable. Therefore, at the end of the day, you might have learnt nothing. This is not the case in traditional learning, there is always a teacher to hold you accountable and make sure you do what you are supposed to do.
E- Learning is a growing market, there are developments to it, each day. Therefore, in the future there might be a time, where online and offline courses have similar outcomes and impact. As of now, choosing the right online course should be based on requirement and personal needs. Keeping the positives and negatives, one should make their decision. To help you further, I have attached the best online websites for online courses. You can go through them and look for the course that suits you best.
Top Websites for Online Courses
Here is a list of finest websites for online courses in India. These can help you find your right course of your choice as well.
- Coursera: It is an American online platform which began in 2012. It offers various online courses in different languages such as English, Hindi, Spanish, French, Chinese etc. The courses it provides are specializing in are engineering, business, data science, machine learning, mathematics, computer science etc.
- Exambazaar: It is an Indian online platform which began in 2017. They offer discounts and other offers on online coaching as well as offline coaching all around India. They provide expert reviews as well for any course that you apply for.
- LinkedIn Learning: This is another American website that offers video courses. These courses are taught by top industrial experts, who teach software creative and business skills. You could learn to make a perfect portfolio from an expert on this platform.
- Udemy: This platform has more than 50 million students and 57000 instructors who teach in over 65 languages. It is one of the most diverse platforms. There are students from 190+ countries and every 2 out of 3 students are from outside US. The courses are in English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese and German.
- Udacity: Udacity is a for-profit organization. You can learn skills like, Android Development on Udacity. From the age group of 6 to 60, everyone can get a course befitting to them.
- Khan Academy: This is a non-profit organisation. Most of the lessons are taught by the owner and founder of Khan Academy, Mr. Sal Khan. There are courses on everything, Mathematics, Science, Competitive exams, web development, programming and many more. If you want to clear out your basics then this is the website, you go on.